Each day, cause and effect relationships are all around us. When it rains, there are puddles. When a traffic light turns red, the cars stop. Once children realize this, it becomes much easier to find cause and effect sentences in stories and articles. As a credentialed teacher, I found understanding cause and effect also helps students grasp sequence of events in books. Before handing out a worksheet, consider some of these cause and effect activities for kids. In my experience, it will make the process of teaching cause and effect much more fun!
Cause and Effect Posters
Give your students a piece of construction paper divided into two equal sides with the words “cause” on one side and “effect” on the other. On the bottom, draw a line or two so kids can write a cause and effect sentence. Next, give an example of a cause and effect situation on the board. For instance, a soccer player could score a goal. The effect could be that the crowd cheered. On the cause side, draw the ball in the back of the goal. On the effect side, draw a crowd cheering. At the bottom of the paper write, Since the Galaxy scored a goal, the crowd went wild. For primary students, you may want to write the cause for them and have the children come up with an effect. Of course, don’t forget to have them make a picture to illustrate the sentence.
Picture Books to Teach Cause and Effect
The If You Give a Cat a Cupcake or many of the other If You Give …. books by Laura Numeroff are a great tool for teaching cause and effect. For any book you read, pass out a t-chart to your class with cause on one side and effect on the other. As you read the books, look for the cause and effect relationship. For If you Give a Cat a cupcake, ask your students why did the cat ask for sprinkles (the effect)….because the girl gave him a cupcake (the cause). Another book I like for cause and effect is There was a Cold Lady who Swallowed Some Snow. The main character swallows some snow. Then she swallows a pipe to warm herself. Then she swallows the coal to keep her pipe lit. The entire book is one chain reaction. If you teach your students that the cause is “why something happened” and the effect is “what happened,” it will make things much easier.
Cause and Effect Memory Game
On your computer, make a grid of congruent squares and write down a group of causes. On another grid, write down a set of effects that match with the causes. Then, print out the cards on heavy paper. On the back of the cards, write a C or an E. For durability, laminate the cards. Then, place the cards face down and have students play a cause and effect memory game. The rules are as follows: pick up one cause card and one effect card. Then, see if the cause matches the effect. If they are a match, you get to keep it. If the cards are not a match, put both of the cards back (in their original spots) and give the next person a turn. The person with the most matches wins. Here are a few examples of cause and effect relationships you could use for your game:
1) Cause: Sara is sick. Effect: As a result, she went to the doctor.
2) Cause: Since it is 100 degrees outside, Effect: we went swimming.
3) Cause: I threw the ball. Effect: My dog chased after it.
4) Cause: It rained. Effect: We jumped in the puddles.
I hope these activities make teaching cause and effect easier.
More from Melissa:
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